From Will Brooks Sunday 23rd June 1.05 PM GMT
in response to Stewart
Thank you for your comments and questions Stewart. My responses are below.
Stewart: Finding flaws in the Bible doesn't involve reading further than the first page. I have to admit to being amazed that you could read it and fail to identify any contradictions. Maybe it's testament to your determination to change your behaviour.
Will: You are quite correct Stewart. The first page does indeed appear to have contradictions when viewed through the spectacles of Darwinian evolution. My first steps to finding out the truth required that I rigorously examine those very processes and beliefs that I held to be true. When I discovered that Darwinism does not stand up to scrutiny and is based on unproven assumptions to accord with the atheist worldview I then had to examine the Scriptures to see if they stood up to scrutiny and if there were reasonable answers to what on the surface appeared to be quite a number of contradictions.
You are also quite correct in speculating that I was determined to change my behaviour. I was a high earning hedonistic cheating skirt chasing boozer who made life pretty miserable for those around me. One day I woke up and reasoned that if life has any meaning or purpose I couldn’t find it looking through the bottom of a glass of Glenfiddich and even if it turned out that life is meaningless it is better to have the courage and honesty to admit that I was living a lie and to do something about it. I am not alone in going through this process and the fact of the matter is that if I can change so too can anyone, if they are honest with themselves.
There is nothing vague or generalized about the Isaiah prophecies. He specifically names Cyrus, even though Cyrus was not even born at the time, and he specifically names Babylon, and the specific manner in which the city would be overthrown.
Furthermore, Isaiah specifically gives the details of the treatment that Jesus Christ would receive. And Jesus Christ gave the details of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Stewart: I suppose it hasn't occurred to you that the text you're referring to might have been added at a later date?
Will: I refer you to my answer to the theistic evolutionist gluadys who thinks the Bible is a Restaurant Menu.
I ought to add that those are only a very few of many prophecies contained in the Bible. I would post others for you to examine but I somehow think you would not do so. But I do think you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain if you would conduct some rigorous investigations in this particular area.
Stewart: Thanks for the offer but your first instinct was correct.
Will: I take no pleasure in being proven correct in this instance Stewart and would rather that you had proven me wrong.
You may very well be correct in saying that Richard and Vic did not answer because they did not believe those events took place. However, the facts of the matter are that those specific named events did take place and even secular historians do not dispute the facts. A Google search would confirm this easily enough and so I do think they did not respond because they could offer no plausible explanation other than that a Higher Intelligence is the source of the information provided to Isaiah and Jesus Christ.
Stewart: that's one way to look at it.
Will: Thank you and I do believe it is at least a reasonable conclusion to draw from their silence.
Given the above, you will appreciate that I do not agree with you that the Bible is not dependable. Had I discovered during my rigorous examination of the various books that it fitted your description I would have unhesitatingly dropped it. But like hundreds of millions of others I have sound reasons for believing the Bible to be totally dependable and was way ahead of its time in connection with certain matters of science.
Stewart: I'm sure you're unshakable in this belief, converts are notorious for their zeal.
Will: You are quite correct that my faith is unshakeable and that due, not as poor old Richard Dawkins would describe it to credulity, but to solid evidence.
I posted the following information earlier this year about the Bible and science which went unanswered. I think I am correct in saying that you were not involved in Origins forum at the time and so have posted it again with apologies to others for my repetition.
Prothrombin was not discovered until 1929 by Professor H. Dam who assigned to it the name Vitamin K. If a person has a deficiency of vitamin K they are at risk of haemorrhaging in certain circumstances. It is only on the fifth through the seventh days in the life of a newborn male baby that vitamin K is present in adequate quantities. Vitamin K causes blood coagulation which is important in any surgical procedure. It is most evident that if Vitamin K is not produced in sufficient quantities until days five through seven it would be wise to postpone any surgery until some time afterwards.
So what, you ask?
In the seventeenth Chapter of the book of Genesis, contained in the Bible which you think is unscientific God gave instructions to Abraham : From now on you must circumcise every baby boy when he is eight days old……
Stewart: Why would God do that? Allowing for the fact that God created man, why would he create him with a foreskin that was surplus to requirements? Wouldn't the vitamin K problem be alleviated by allowing the boys to have their family jewels unmolested?
Will: You may wish to check out this site to get a Jewish perspective. www.kveller.com/baby_and.../Circumcision_/why-circumcise.shtml
I have no wish to sound patronising and given that you are a committed atheist you will not take offence when I say that in order to understand why God required Abram and his descendants to be circumcised you would need to know the mind of God in this issue.
Abram, as part of his covenant with God, was commanded to circumcise his foreskin. "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant" (Genesis 17:10-14).
The immediate reason was that every covenant contained a clause concerning the witness to the covenant. A witness was a perpetual reminder that the covenant existed. For example, the covenant between Jacob and Laban was witnessed by a stone marker (Genesis 31:46-48). God's covenant with Noah and the world was witnessed by the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-16). In Abram's case, God asked that he and all his male descendents who entered into the covenant carry the reminder of the covenant in their own flesh.
Centuries later, God revealed what circumcision represented. "But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt- then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land" (Leviticus 26:40-42).
Hence, uncircumcision represented stubborn sinfulness. Circumcision was done on the outward flesh, but it represented the acceptance of the covenant in the mind, including the willingness to obey the laws within the covenant. When God told Israel, "Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer" (Deuteronomy 10:16), it meant that they were remove their stubborn sinful thoughts from their minds. In other words, they were to purge sin from their lives and become obedient to the laws of God. "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live" (Deuteronomy 30:6).
While circumcision served as a permanent reminder to Israel that they needed to obey God's laws, the fact that a man was circumcised did not mean he actually kept the law. "For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision" (Romans 2:25).
Hence, to God the physical act of circumcision was not nearly as important as the actual obedience that He required. "Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (Romans 2:26-30).
On the eighth day and only on the eighth day is prothrombin elevated to be higher than one hundred per cent of normal. If surgery is to be performed day eight is the perfect day on which to do it. (refer to Biblical Accuracy and Circumcision on the 8th day by Bet Thompson, Ph.D)
Stewart: In my experience there is no man so amply apportioned that he would volunteer to have chunks of his manhood hacked off. So the best time to perform circumcision is never.
Will: Yes Stewart I do understand what you are saying and the key to it is, In Your experience. But Abram’s ego was not dependant on the size of his manhood and he willingly volunteered to the procedure as he considered that God knew best and so he subjected his own ego in order to do the will of God.
Therefore, I would say that it is reasonable to conclude that the Bible is highly relevant, the identity of the writers of the various books can be established by conducting personal research, and in so doing you could establish for yourself the motives and the sanity of those persons.
Stewart: You really think it's possible for me to establish any solid facts about people who lived over 2000 years ago? I very much doubt it, who would supply the character references?
Will: Most definitely Stewart. But it definitely requires effort on your part. You believe certain facts about George Washington, do you not? And about Alexander the Great? How do you know those facts to be true? Or maybe you believe nothing from the past and only believe in the here and now? If you invest the time and put in the effort to examine the Bible for yourself you will find that there are numerous lines of evidence that establish the veracity of the Scriptures. And you will discover that the Bible writers had the honesty to expose their own character defects and in certain instances those of their fellow believers. It really is a warts and all revelation to man with nothing to hide. I do encourage you to take the courageous first step of rigorously examining your own set of beliefs to see if they stand up to scrutiny.
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